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Okay, so I need help. We have started to go to a church and in the toddler room they give the kids snacks. Last week they gave my 15 m/o fruit loops and apple juice as a snack, even though I provided something else. I didn't make a big stink about it because I know her and she would have just stolen everybody elses had they all not had the same thing. So I offered to start making the snacks for the toddlers every week so that I could avoid my DD eating that stuff.

So Ideas? I am trying to remember also these are mainstream kids who are USED to food dyes and cereal puffs etc... But I also don't want to compromise on our eating habits. We have been SO much better and consistant in our house lately, just want to keep that up


Oh and I mentioned fruit and veggie slices and was told basically that wouldn't be the best option because kids don't like them "grrrrrrrrr"
 

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Hi Erin! I hope you had a great move, and are enjoyiing Florida! I would recommend homemade crackers with cheese cubes. There is a good recipe using sprouted spelt flour on the Summers Sprouted Flour website, and if you google gluten-free matzoh crackers a recipe using potato starch (that I use arrowroot and sweet potato flour) with (I use ghee as the oil). I use little animal cracker cutters to make cute shapes. I give my ds crispy nuts, but other parents will probably consider them a choking hazard. IMO the pecans, when crisped, are soft and crumbly enough not to be a problem.

Those fruitabu things are fairly tasty, and easy since you don't have to make them. Almond cookies from NT are tasty and can be made with arrowroot or sprouted flour. For a drink... coconut water? Esp. healthy if you buy the green coconuts and drain them yourself!

I'm racking my brain, because most of the things my ds eats/drinks would wierd out most mainstream parents (kombucha anyone?).

Kristen
 

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For drinks, what's wrong with plain water? It's less messy when the kids spill it anyway!

I think that if you're providing food for a large group of kids, you may need to make some compromises. Maybe cheerios instead of fruit loops- still not NT, but free of petroleum-based food dyes and flavorings.
 

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If water is unacceptable, how about iced tea made with fruity teas?

And perhaps dried fruit instead of cereal? I started carrying banana chips and now all the kids come to me for some of those.


I've heard the 'they won't eat fruits and vegetables' too.
: Maybe you can fool them with dip? Cream cheese (or yogurt or kefir cheese) and fruit preserves makes a great dip though that's a little messy.

You could make onigiri too - basically rice balls with some sort of stuffing. If you made them really small, they'd be toddler bite size. My DD hasn't gotten rice yet but when she does, I think I'll be making these. They keep for a few days in the fridge.
 

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I don't see what the ladies problem is with offering fruits and veggies- if they won't eat them so what- not like the parents aren't feeding them at home- if they aren't hungry, they don't need to eat, and if they are, they will eat what is offered. Guess I am too crabby LOL.

3 out of 4 of my children love dried fruit- all kinds. I know plenty of children who love dried fruit. Perhaps you could make some type of healthy trail mix - some crispy nuts, dried fruits, homemade crackers or such.

Yogurt is a healthy snack. If they have access to a freezer you could do frozen yogurt pops, or fruit and juice pops- every kid who has come to my house loves these (the most popular being orange juice with bannaa and a splash of lemon to preserve color.) This also could solve the drink problem- if you need a healthy drink and don't approve of juice- why not a yogurt smoothie, or kefir smoothie etc.

What about banana dipped in peanut butter, rolled in nuts? Those seem popular with the kids. Applesauce? I also agree with pp about sending fruits with dip. Kids love dip. Also agree about crackers and cheese- you can also cube up some of your own meat to send with them also. Deviled eggs, or simple hard boiled eggs. You can make your own fruit leather which is the same as dried fruit.

I think it depends how messy and involved the caregivers want to be- and I think you will find that is the main problem- they want it self serve, they don't want spills, and they don't want a mess- so that takes out half of my choices- applesauce, any dip, smoothies, yogurt.... Baked oatmeal might go over ok- that is almost cake like. Or what about a healthy banana bar or pumpkin bar you make up yourself?

Brenda
 

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A box of organic crackers or "cookies" is a good alternative, and will cost you a couple bucks a week. I've tried the nursery, and DS won't stay, but the one time he stayed for like 15 minutes, they had strict instructions not to feed anything but the food I provided, and they respected that.

Also, what kind of kid doesn't like fruit? Also, they are probably not allowed to accept homemade foods, so you'll probably need to provide something packaged, but getting organic really cuts back on the processing.

What makes me mad is that some parents just don't care what their kids eat
:
 

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Hmm. Why wouldn't a child like fruits and vegetables? The only reasons I can think of are 1) they're used to getting sugary junk food when they play in the nursery or 2) their parents don't feed them any fresh fruits and vegetables, so it's an unaccustomed food. Bleh.

How about some home-baked blueberry muffins (soaked or sprouted flour)? You could even add cream cheese "frosting" (sweetened with a dab of maple syrup or something) and call them cupcakes


There's also a "TF Granola" thread around here that has a recipe for soaked-oat granola. That might be a reasonable substitute for Cheerios.

Our church nursery gives the kids animal crackers and sometimes those fruit-flavored gummy things (candy by another name) and water to drink. I didn't want Wesley eating those things, but then I watched him knocking down other kids and snatching their junk food. *sigh* It's going to be worse when he is old enough to attend Sunday School because they get things like pudding, chocolate candies, pretzels etc. Often the snack is tied in with the lesson in some way. I really don't want to deal with the sugar crash on the way home from church. But it would be really unfair for my child to be the only one forbidden to eat M&M's and to sit there watching all the other kids chow down.
I haven't decided what to do about it. Maybe just brush his teeth really well when we get home from church. Or volunteer to teach Sunday School


Edit: You could also get those pieces of dates from the bulk section of your HFS. The kind that are rolled in oat flour. They are high in sugar, but at least they're an unrefined dried fruit.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Taedareth View Post
Hmm. Why wouldn't a child like fruits and vegetables? The only reasons I can think of are 1) they're used to getting sugary junk food when they play in the nursery or 2) their parents don't feed them any fresh fruits and vegetables, so it's an unaccustomed food. Bleh.
Not necessarily true. I offer my kids fruits and veggies ALL the time, and they ABSOLUTELY REFUSE. No matter how much I offer, they won't eat fresh fruits and veggies. Honestly, if it weren't for me sneaking them into their other foods, my kids wouldn't get ANY fruits and veggies. And they're not getting sugary junk food and it's not an unaccustomed food.

I also wanted to point out that some parents may have a hard time w/ nuts being in the room. Remember, there are LOTS of allergies floating around, and peanuts are usually high on the list. Nuts are also a toddler choking hazard and all the nurseries I know prohibit them.

That all said, I think that muffins and quick breads are GREAT ideas. Especially if you do them in mini-muffin cups. My kids LOVE mini- muffins and it's a great way to hide fruits and other healthy stuff.
 

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My reply will probably not be a popular one but here it goes, please do not throw too many stones at me....

If it was me and I was feeding my child healthy whole foods 99.99999999% of the time and that one snack a week (which is probably a tiny amount, a dixie cup full is the standard serving from my observations at different churches) was the only time my child was eating junk I would not put up too much of a fight about it. I would do what you did and offer a snack but i would be realistic about it too. Like others have said most of those children probably would not eat a lot of things your child does and many parents might frown on things that might be a choking or allergy hazzard. I would try and find packaged items that would be better, organic cereal, crackers, string cheese, sliced apples, and milk or juice. I would probably avoid kefir smoothies or anything like that because can you imagine the fit some one would throw if they heard you were serving their child milk that had sat out on a counter for a day? I am willing to bet that alone would guarantee a future of fruit loops and apple juice each week
~ Those who are informed about these things know how good for you they are but the mainstream people don't. I think the key here is to find a middle ground, nothing too out there to please the mainstream and something half way decent to please you.
 

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I have a similar situation with my 22 month old at natural parenting meetings and babywearing meetings a couple of times a month. I try to take snacks that he likes, and I avoid cereal at all costs. I always take some NT friendly crackers for him to have so he has an alternative.

I personally would ask them not to serve cereals with dies anymore, from a young age DS2 has figured out that brightly colored foods mean "yummy" sugar. Then I would send him with an NT cookie or cracker that will be attractive to her. If they are eating colorless Cheerios, she might not be too upset about eating crackers instead.

I would avoid organic cereals, they are worse for you than non organic ones. The reason cereal is "bad" is that when it is extruded the proteins in it are converted into a toxin, and organic cereals generally are higher in protein, thus higher in the toxins.
 

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I had an experience today that reminded me of this thread. I was discussing the Sunday school program with one of the nursery volunteers and I asked whether the snacks were basically junk food.

She said, "Oh no! They only get healthy food like those Disney animal crackers - they're non-fat."

I kind of laughed and said something like, "Well they're not healthy. They're made of sugar and refined flour." I was expecting her to see my point and agree, but instead I think she got miffed. Oops.

Anyway it was an eye-opening experience for me. Apparently the average American believes that ANY non-fat food is HEALTHY for you, regardless of the other ingredients. As long as it isn't obviously topped with frosting or something.

So back to the main question of this thread... should I let my toddler eat whatever they give him even though he has problems with dental decay, and I don't want him on a sugar/refined carb high just before naptime? Or should I insist the Sunday School program ONLY feeds the kids fruit and other snacks I personally approve of?
:
 

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personally, i'd encourage you to stay away from home cooked 'stuff'. because of regulations involved, the church can/will be held liable if a parent complained or whatever. and then they may go after you. purchased stuff is better when serving 'masses' - being more than your family and outside your home. just don't want you getting in trouble iwth health regulations.

also, i'd encourage you in whatever you bring to make it nut free. there may be allergic kids there. at that age - 15 months - 2 yrs, my allergist strongly recommends most kids NOT have nuts/peanuts anyway til after 2 BECAUSE of the allergies. . .. just something to keep in mind. i have a very allergic kid so i'm more aware of that, but some may not know their kid has a sensitivity and is avoiding nuts/peanuts anyway til age 2

(i just saw a post in this thread about making a nut fruit mix for the kids and that's why i felt it prudent to reply).

don't want a kid dying - only takes one exposure. . . .

one day a week, and with my 'average' kid, i don't sweat it - AS LONG as i know the snack is nut free. my allergic kid, well, i'm in the room anyway so i keep tabs on that. (I have to translate anyway for my younger kid and interpret what my older kid is saying - neither speak English but the older one understands it.)

bettyann
 

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forgot to add - stuff like dips is just asking for problems in a church snack setting. the kids will ruin their 'special' clothes and parents will be miffed. i've never seen smocks/bibs in the toddler rooms for all kids at snack time.

dry stuff or finger stuff that's not oozing is cool, though.


remember there's probably only 2 people in the room surrounded by a bunch of kids. .. .
 

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I've had this thread on my mind a lot. It's weird that the 'snack' has gotten into our culture so deeply. Can there be a kid's gathering without snacks? Probably not, the way things are. I had a group of kids in the Islamic school and I didn't allow snacks since we were only there for two hours. The parents complained.

How about mini muffins? While not exactly TF, they can be made 'better' and they're pretty much portable.
 

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There is much I agree with that's been said here: go with non-messy snacks (anything dry), water to drink, packaged food, no nuts.

If you are looking for a good compromise - meaning non TF food, but non-sugary, you could do something like pretzels. Our SS class gives the kids the same snack every single time - it's always a choice of pretzels or animal crackers. Oh, I thought the banana chip suggestion from a pp was also very good! (though the organic ones I buy do have sugar added.) Raisins would also be good.

BUT, my DD is highly allergic to many things, and she knows she can only eat what I bring for her to eat. I don't insist that the rest of the SS class have the same thing. I used to fret that she would feel "left out" and wanting the other foods, but I've always made sure to put in her snack pack her favorite TF foods. What I notice is that the other kids are always begging her for *her* foods!


So I was going to suggest that as another option - just let the SS feed the junk food to the other kids, and pack your DD's snack full of her very favorite TF foods. And insist that the caregivers enforce your food rules for your DD. I think that you need to be able to trust the caregivers, and if you can't, then reconsider leaving her. That's a whole 'nother issue.

And make sure your DD is served first. I once worked in the nursery and there was a child who couldn't have the regular snack. So that poor little boy kept stealing the snacks from the other kids because he hadn't been served his snack - they gave it to him last. In fact, they only gave it to him when I had this crying little boy in my arms and I was like "WHERE IS HIS SNACK???!!!" Course, I didn't stay with that church - wasn't going to put *my* DD in there!!

Good luck with this!
 

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It's a shame there are so many things you have to consider, like allergies, choking hazards, church clothes, and whether it's safe and acceptable to bring homebaked food! I was going to suggest that everyone likes grapes, but then there's the choking thing
:

Seems like maybe compromise is the way to go. I'm with those who suggested buying healthy versions of snack foods (although if it wasn't for above considerations, I'd think quickbreads/muffins would be awesome).

Pretzels, bagels and spread, crackers/cookies, dried fruit, etc. I see animal crackers at my healthfood store but I don't know what the ingredients look like so they may still have plenty of sugar in them.

And water! I mean, if they're going to be so picky they won't drink water, I doubt the thirst is great enough to harm them!

Good luck with your quest to keep your family healthy!
 
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